Everybody Poops (even people who carry guns)

The Question Every CCW-er Has but is Afraid to Ask: What do You do with Your Pistol While Going Number Two?

GlockOnToilet_8238It is a frequent question that new concealed (and open) carriers often have.  However, it is rarely asked and, if when it is, it can sometimes involve a bit of gazing at one’s own feet or bashful sidelong glances during what can be an awkward conversation.  The fact remains, nonetheless, that going to the restroom is a natural human function and many are left wondering what to do with their carry gun when nature calls – particularly in a public restroom environment.  Luckily for you, Team GunLink is not afraid to have the awkward conversations that you don’t want to have and pass along that information.

Answering that call can pose a number of issues.  Depending on the style of carry, managing the firearm in the ol’ WC can range from easy to uncomfortable to dangerous.  It is naturally a vulnerable situation, particularly in public facilities which might allow the possibility of literally being caught with one’s pants down – so it ought to remain handy.  Some holsters, particularly OWB holsters, can allow the firearm to flop out, visible to any neighbors (especially if your neighbor is Larry Craig).  Others, especially pocket guns can jab you or otherwise point where you don’t want them to.  So, what do you do with your firearm while relieving yourself?

Well, first off, we can tell you what not to do:  leave your gun behind.  The possibility of doing so is, in part, why we do not like the idea of unholstering your carry piece.  The fact is that firearms do periodically get forgotten in the loo.

Now, once the rabid anti-gunners are settled down from their “this is exactly why just any geek off the street shouldn’t be allowed to carry a gun” rant, we should point out that it is frequently the pros who leave guns behind.  The ones expected to be handy with the steel, if you know what I mean.  For example, this Washington police chief, this Florida sheriff’s deputy, this Massachusetts police officer, this Federal EPA agent, these two US Capitol police officers, and this Michigan school security guard – all left their guns behind.  So did this commercial airline pilot who, unlike most of us, is allowed to have his firearm inside sterile areas of the airport.  Of course, it can happen to non-pros too, like this church goer or this WalMart shopper.  

Ok, so there are 10 anecdotal reasons not to stow your firearm around your stall.  Don’t put it on the tank, don’t put it in the seat cover bin, don’t put it on the paper dispenser, don’t put it behind the rail, and absolutely don’t hang it from the hook by the trigger guard.  Repeat after me:  “I am not Michael Corleone; public restrooms are not firearm storage areas.”  Not to mention the fact that more time spent handling a firearm means more opportunity for an accidental (or, more appropriately, negligent) discharge.  And nobody wants an accidental discharge of any sort in the bathroom.

After all of those don’ts, what are some common practices that do make some sense?

The Hammock.  Keep in mind that we still do not recommend unholstering and handling a loaded firearm unnecessarily, so this practice is better suited for firearms carried in holsters that are easily removed – such as pocket holsters, paddle holsters, holsters with open clips, or no clips at all.  To execute “the hammock,” the firearm (and holster, if applicable) is placed between the feet, nestled gently in the fabric of your trousers.  This keeps your firearm handy, out of sight from any neighboring stalls, and, hopefully, where you won’t forget it when you leave.  We give it 3.5/5 stars.

The Foot Warmer.  This is a somewhat odd one that we heard recently.  Like the hammock, the “foot warmer” involves removing the (hopefully holstered and safe) firearm from its usual position and putting it on top of your foot.  Presumably this works best with solo heads or those with floor-to-ceiling walls to prevent lookie-loos from spotting your hardware.  Not so good for keeping it hidden and marginal for keeping it handy, this one should make it difficult to forget when you leave – unless you kick it across the room when you stand up.  2/5 stars.

The Hooker.  Ok, so this is another don’t, but I just wanted to slip a paragraph in about using “the hooker” in a restroom.  We already covered this above in the “don’t store your pistol around the stall” section, but we heard of a couple people who claimed to hang their carry gun by the trigger guard on the coat hook.  A terrible idea to begin with thanks to the possibility of forgetting it when you leave, it is made worse since the only thing that should ever be inside the trigger guard is your finger, and only when you are on target and ready to fire.  0/5 stars.  Don’t do this.

The Usual.  Just like it sounds, “the usual” keeps everything right where it is.  KISS – Keep It Simple, Stupid.  Pocket carry?  Leave it in your pocket.  Carry on your belt?  Leave it on your belt.  This results in little, if any, extra handling of the firearm and keeps it securely in its holster.  There are, however, several issues with the usual.  Pocket guns might be difficult to access or, if you have a floppy holster, it might flop enough to hit the floor or be visible to neighbors.  If you have poor enough decision making skills to “Mexican Carry” (tucked AIWB without a holster), the usual just won’t work for obvious reasons.  Likewise, if you carry like this horribly deranged criminal… well, you probably have far bigger problems to deal with.  4/5 stars.

The Hoodie.  Here is a good one for IWB or OWB carriers that does not involve removing or unneccessarily handling the firearm and keeps it secure, handy, and out of sight.  For IWB and OWB, it is much like “the usual” with the exception that the practitioner loops the waistband of their unmentionables – if so equipped – up and over the top of the pistol that is exposed above the waistband of the trousers.  Little to no excess firearm handling, easy access, out of sight, and no flop.  I like this one, so 5/5 stars.

If you have your own method, or have critiques of these methods, feel free to share them in the comment section below.

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